This original "Still life of fruit and flowers", oil painting on canvas, 145 x 115 cm without frame and 160 x 130 cm with superb coeval frame, very unique for its free and dynamic presentation of some pieces of fruit on irregular shelves of rock, irregularly rough-hewn and arranged at various heights, with a jug with a floral bouquet and some mushrooms at the bottom, and a square opening at the top on a blue sky, it can be assigned to the hand of Felice Rubbiani (Modena 1677 - Villa San Pancrazio 1752 ), in one of its happiest moments of inventive verve and pictorial looseness.
A paternity which clearly leads to the confirmation of some of its typical typologies, such as the grapes of the grapes, the curled branches and the fringed leaves of the tendrils, the small pears bislunghe, the red bell rose, performed with rapid brush strokes and bold chiaroscuro contrasts. A work in which Rubbiani, while confirming the graceful arcadian taste of his settings in the open air, in this case it underlies a more free and whimsical interpretation, open to suggestions of rococo timbre, probably noticeable even in the more provincial climate of Modena, through the fervent alignment of the nearby Parma aristocracy with transalpine fashion.
The figure of Rubbiani, GD Bettini's favorite pupil, had had a first qualified introduction, drafted by D. Biagi Maino (Still life in Italy, Electa ed., 1989, I, pp. 432-433) who opportunely reported what was written from Tiraboschi (1 1-86). That is, the abandonment of the dark backgrounds for "the light fields", following the example of the master, but with the daring innovation of painting flowers and fruit "on graceful and living backgrounds, still sometimes adorned with distances and architectures", beyond the balanced compositions by the master and his contemporary colleagues from Emilia. in favor of airy and lively presentations.
Peculiarities to which Rubbiani grants a wide explanation in the present "Still life", finding already relevant comparisons in the works published by Biagi Maino in particular the "Flowers and fruit in a landscape" (op. Cit., N. 519), traced back to his hand from an 'erroneous previous attribution. Further evidence in this regard' can be examined in the more extensive repertoire prepared by G. and U, Bocchi in the Naturaliter volume (Galleria D'Orlane, 1998), in which an updated and more exhaustive on the work of Rubbiani, who, thanks to his "pleasant disorder" exhibited or, manages to positively balance the slenderness of his abbreviated and succinct camouflage renditions, as in the picture examined here. Qualities that distinguish him in the 'barocchetto " of the contemporary Emilian specialization, deserving the attention reserved to him by M. Pirondini (ArteEmiliana from the historical collections to the new collecting, Artioli ed., Modena 1998).
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